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white asparagus

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Cooked white asparagus

Do you know the wonderful Moomintroll books by Tove Jansson? They used to be my strong favourites when I was a kid (still are – shush…), stories about the Moomintroll and his family – Moominpappa, Moominmamma – and friends – Snufkin and Too-Ticky. Moomintroll looked a little like a hippo and was utterly cute.

One bunch of scary characters in the tales were the Hattifatteners. Almost blind, pale white little creatures, travelling in packs and getting charged up during an electric thunderstorm. If you check their likeness here, you’ll see what I mean when I say white asparagus look just like Hattifatteners.A little scary. Like mushrooms, they grow without daylight and are nothing like their green brothers which I adore and eat almost every day during the painfully short English asparagus season.

But the white ones are quite tasty too and so I decided to give them a go – the only difference in handling them is that they need to be peeled. Careful there though as they snap easily.

white asparagus


INGREDIENTS

  • a bunch of white asparagus
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter plus extra to serve
White asparagus


METHOD

Trim about an inch off the ends of the asparagus, then peel them – it’s easiest to do that on a board with a potato peeler, keep the asparagus flat on the board and turn them as you peel – if you hold them mid-air, the stalks might easily snap.

Keep them in a bowl of cold water until ready to cook.

Boil plenty of water with the lemon juice, the butter and the salt in a pan large enough to hold the asparagus horizontally. Tie them in bunches with kitchen string if you like and plunge into boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Serve with some extra butter melting on the stalks.

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